Maimane: Life Esidimeni tragedy was crime against humanity

Some 144 psychiatric patients died after the Gauteng Health Department terminated its contract with the Life Esidimeni Group and moved them to ill-equipped NGOs.

The plaque unveiled by DA leader Mmusi Maimane on Wednesday, remembering the victims of the Life Esidimeni tragedy. Picture: @Our_DA/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane has used Human Rights Day to commemorate the lives of those who died in the Life Esidimeni tragedy.

Maimane, together with members of the Gauteng provincial leadership, has unveiled a plaque at the Talisman Foundation in Johannesburg on Tuesday afternoon.

Some 144 psychiatric patients died after the Gauteng Health Department terminated its contract with the Life Esidimeni Group and moved them to ill-equipped NGOs.

Maimane says the Esidimeni tragedy was a crime against humanity and the lives of those who died should never be in vain.

“All rights… whether it’s a mentally ill patient, a student who doesn’t go to school or a homeless person, their rights must be protected.”

Maimane says while the party welcomes the outcomes of the arbitration process, those responsible should be held accountable.

“What David Makhura, Qedani Mahlangu and provincial government did was kill the lives of 144 people.”

The party says it also wants answers from the Gauteng government on what is being done to find the over 40 mentally ill patients who remain unaccounted for.

LISTEN: Life Esidimeni judgment is groundbreaking - Health Ombud

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)